The Irish government’s envoy for the undocumented and immigration reform, John Deasy, is in Washington, D.C. this week working on securing passage of a bill that would allow Irish citizens to avail of unused Australian E-3 visas.
The E-3 visa classification is exclusively for Australian citizens and sets aside 10,500 U.S. work visas annually. Thousands of them go unused each year, and Deasy has been working on securing passage of a lame duck bill in Congress that has attracted bipartisan support and approval from the White House.
The Australian government expressed its opposition to a House bill that was originally introduced at the end of October by Democrat Richie Neal and Republican James Sensenbrenner that stated Irish citizens would also be eligible for E-3 visas.
The Australians insisted that the visas should be reserved exclusively for their citizens, but a compromise has since been reached when it was agreed that the Irish would only be eligible to assume any E-3s that were unused by the Australians.
The bill’s language was amended to reflect this change, and the House is soon expected to vote on the measure by a voice vote. Should it pass it would then move on to the Senate where unanimous consent would be required.
Deasy has a number of meetings scheduled with Democratic and Republican legislators this week. He was also due to meet with President Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney, a strong supporter of the Irish E-3 bill.
Read more: Thank you, President Trump for backing an Irish visa scheme we need desperately